Tuesday, September 4, 2018

SiTime teams with Bosch on MEMS timing for 5G, IoT and automotive

SiTime, which supplies MEMS timing solutions, and Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services, announced a strategic technology partnership to accelerate innovation in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) timing.

Specifically, SiTime will work with Bosch to develop processes for next-generation MEMS resonator products. These MEMS resonators are the heartbeat of 5G, IoT and automotive electronics, and will enable the higher speeds of 5G, long battery life of IoT devices and increased reliability of driver assistance systems in automotive. Bosch will utilize its expertise in MEMS manufacturing to produce these resonators for SiTime and ensure availability of high-volume capacity.

SiTime has shipped over a billion units of its MEMS timeing solutions into all electronics markets, has over 90 percent share of the MEMS timing market, and has partnered with industry leaders, such as Intel, to drive timing innovation in 5G.

Bosch has been both a pioneer and a global market leader in the MEMS sensor segment since 1995 and has sold more than 9.5 billion MEMS sensors. The company developed the manufacturing process behind MEMS technology nearly 25 years ago. More than every second smartphone worldwide uses a Bosch MEMS sensor.

“Since 2009 SiTime has counted on Bosch to manufacture more than a billion MEMS resonators,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime. “Over the next decade, the 5G, IoT, and automotive markets will drive the growth of the timing industry by creating a 200 billion unit opportunity. Automation, communications, and computing applications in these markets will require more features, higher accuracy and reliability from timing components.”

“Stable, reliable MEMS timing devices are needed for successful operation of new, high-bandwidth 5G, IoT and driver assistance systems,” said Jens Fabrowsky, executive vice president, Automotive Electronics at Robert Bosch GmbH. “Without ultra-precise timing, the benefits and opportunities for next generation systems will not be achieved. With Bosch’s MEMS leadership and manufacturing excellence, and SiTime’s groundbreaking MEMS timing technology, this partnership will make possible unique new features and mission-critical services in 5G, IoT, and automotive applications.”

https://www.sitime.com/

Intel and SiTime collaborate on MEMS timing for 5G

SiTime, which specializes in MEMS timing solutions, and Intel agreed to collaborate on integrating timing solutions for Intel’s 5G multi-mode radio modems, with additional applicability to Intel LTE, millimeter-wave wireless, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS solutions.

SiTime said its MEMS timing technology helps meet the high-performance requirements of emerging 5G radio modem platforms, especially in the presence of stressors such as vibration, high temperature, and rapid thermal transients. Such stressors can disrupt the timing signal and result in network reliability issues, lower data throughput, and even connectivity drops.

“Our collaboration with SiTime on MEMS-based silicon timing solutions will help our customers build leading 5G platforms to best take advantage of the increased performance and capacity that the 5G NR standard brings,” said Dr. Cormac Conroy, corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group at Intel Corporation. “Intel’s modem technology and our collaboration with SiTime is helping to enable new mobile and consumer experiences, and enterprise and industrial use cases.”

Merger talks of China Telecom + China Unicom

Top Chinese government officials are reviewing a proposal to merge China Telecom and China Unicom, the nation's number 2 and 3 mobile operators, according to reports published by Bloomberg and others on Tuesday.

So far, there has not been official confirmation of the story although share prices of both companies have risen on the Hong Kong exchange.

Combined, the two carriers have 590 million mobile subscribers, compared to 905 million for China Mobile. A merger would enable a faster rollout of 5G but reduce the competitive landscape for mobile services to two players. Both carriers have reduced CAPEX in the first half of 2018 following completion of most 4G upgrades. Both reported surging mobile data traffic and an impact from increased competition and the elimination of provincial roaming charges.

Exactly one year ago, the Chinese government arranged for top Chinese tech companies, including Alibaba and Tencent, to inject RMB 78 billion (US$11.7 billion) into China Unicom in an effort to accelerate the transformation of its network. The consolidation could play to the favor of these investors.

As state-owned enterprises, both China Telecom (estimate 287,000 employees) and China Unicom (estimated 252,000 employees) have large numbers of workers and retirees.  While network integration and automation may reduce the need for so many employees from a technical perspective, from a social point of view, large-scale reductions may not be possible.

The big synergy in the merger presumably would be to reduce the rollout cost of a nationwide 5G network, which both China Telecom and China Unicom were anticipating in 2020. Both carriers have 5G pilots underway and limited trial services are expected in 2019. Full-scale nationwide rollout for each would involve upgrades to millions of base stations, and improvements to front-haul and backhaul infrastructure. China Unicom recently disclosed that it now has 910,000 4G base stations in operation. China Telecom has stated that it had 1.2 million 4G base stations in operation.

 Many 5G small cells and in-building networks are also required for the 5G upgrade plan. A merged entity presumably could build this at a much lower cost -- perhaps even approaching 50-60-% of what otherwise would be spent. For network equipment, especially Huawei and ZTE, this could be bad news. For China Tower, which recently completed an IPO, this could mean only 2 potential clients on its telecom masts (China Mobile and this merged entity).

With only two mobile operators, perhaps the really intense mobile price competition in China would ease. China Mobile must make do with ARPU of RMB 58.10 (US$8.43) -- about 1/6th the billing per subscriber per month as U.S. operators. China Telecom and China Unicom's mobile ARPU is lower, at RMB 47.9. This leaves very little profit potential per subscriber, making the business case for a deep, nationwide 5G rollout more difficult for two carriers than for one..


Ericsson to acquire CENX for service assurance

Ericsson agreed to acquire CENX, a privately-held company that offers a hyper-scale service assurance platform across virtual and hybrid networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CENX, founded in 2009, is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. The company achieved significant year-over-year revenue growth in the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2017. CENX employs 185 people.  Ericsson has held a minority stake in CENX since 2012.

Ericsson said the acquisition will boost its Operations Support Systems (OSS) portfolio with vendor-agnostic service assurance and closed-loop automation capability, including in NFV and orchestration.

Mats Karlsson, Head of Solution Area OSS, Ericsson, says: “Dynamic orchestration is crucial in 5G-ready virtualized networks. By bringing CENX into Ericsson, we can continue to build upon the strong competitive advantage we have started as partners. I look forward to meeting and welcoming our new colleagues into Ericsson.”

Closed-loop automation ensures Ericsson can offer its service provider customers an orchestration solution that is optimised for 5G use cases like network slicing, taking full advantage of Ericsson’s distributed cloud offering. Ericsson’s global sales and delivery presence – along with its strong R&D – will also create economies of scale in the CENX portfolio and help Ericsson to offer in-house solutions for OSS automation and assurance.

Ed Kennedy CEO, CENX says: “Ericsson has been a great partner – and for us to take the step to fully join Ericsson gives us the best possible worldwide platform to realize CENX’s ultimate goal – autonomous networking for all. Our closed-loop service assurance automation capability complements Ericsson’s existing portfolio very well. We look forward to seeing our joint capability add great value to the transformation of both Ericsson and its customers.”

  • CENX was co-founded in 2009 as a Carrier Ethernet Neutral Exchange by Mr. Nan Chen, who is also the founder and president of MEF.
  • Previous investors in CENX have included BDC Capital, Mistral Venture Partners, VMware, Highland Capital Partners, Mesirow Financial Private Equity Inc., Verizon Ventures, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Ericsson, DCM Ventures, and Cross Creek Advisors.

CENX lands Tier 1 European contract for service assurance

CENX announced a contract to provide its hyper-scale service assurance platform to a globally recognized European Tier 1 operator.  CENX's hyper-scale service assurance platform enables closed-loop assurance automation across virtual and hybrid networks.

Under the contract, CENX will support the launch of new digital services and business models across fixed, wireless and data center infrastructure. CENX will enable the operator to assure and monitor its physical and cloud network assets within a single-pane while enabling closed-loop automation to better manage increasing complexity.



CommScope builds a C-RAN small cell for in-building 4G/5G

CommScope announced a "OneCell" C-RAN small cell solution for in-building 5G performance.

The enhanced OneCell portfolio includes a new radio point platform, the multi-carrier RP5000 Series, which features software-programmable radios that can flexibly support new air interfaces to enable LTE-to-5G migration. Its supports cell virtualization, distributed MIMO (multiple input/multiple output), and granular location-awareness to support smarter services including emergency services. It uses off-the-shelf Ethernet LAN fronthaul infrastructure components to reduce cost and complexity for enterprise deployments.

CommScope describes its OneCell is a 5G-ready in-building LTE solution that combines carrier-grade performance and reliability with deployment simplicity for single- and multi-operator environments. With OneCell, wireless operators and neutral hosts can fully participate in 5G-enabled services while preserving their investments in LTE.

The company notes that many 5G target use cases – such as ultra-high definition video, industrial automation and “smart building” applications – will be deployed inside buildings.

“In-building delivery of 5G service will be a major opportunity for operators to own the user experience, differentiate from over-the-top service providers and monetize service offerings,” said Matt Melester, senior vice president, CommScope. “But the old ways of delivering cellular service indoors simply cannot achieve 5G performance levels. CommScope’s enhanced OneCell small cell solution is uniquely positioned to make indoor 5G an enabler of enterprise business opportunities.”


Intel announces AI collaboration with Baidu Cloud

Baidu and Intel outlined new artificial intelligence (AI) collaborations showcasing applications ranging from financial services and shipping to video content detection.

Specifically, Baidu Cloud is leveraging Intel Xeon Scalable processors and the Intel Math Kernel Library-Deep Neural Network (Intel® MKL-DNN) as part of a new financial services solution for leading China banks; the Intel OpenVINO toolkit in new AI edge distribution and video solutions; and Intel Optane™ technology and Intel QLC NAND SSD technology for enhanced object storage.

“Intel is collaborating with Baidu Cloud to deliver end-to-end AI solutions. Adopting a new chip or optimizing a single framework is not enough to meet the demands of new AI workloads. What’s required is sysatems-level integration with software optimization, and Intel is enabling this through our expertise and extensive portfolio of AI technologies – all in the name of helping our customers achieve their AI goals,” stated Raejeanne Skillern, Intel vice president, Data Center Group, and general manager, Cloud Service Provider. Platform Group.

Semtech samples PAM4 clock and data recovery platform

Semtech announced sampling of its quad Tri-Edge clock and data recovery (CDR) with an integrated vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) driver and its quad Tri-Edge CDR with an integrated transimpedance amplifier (TIA).

The bundle is optimized for low power and low cost PAM4 short-reach, 200G/400G QSFP28 SR4/8 modules for data center and active optical cable (AOC) applications.

“With this Tri-Edge PAM4 CDR bundle, Semtech further demonstrates its innovative and disruptive solutions to alternatives available in the market today. We expect this to enable the next-gen deployment for data centers to allow higher bandwidth growth while supporting an aggressive cost structure,” said Dr. Timothy Vang, Vice President of Marketing and Applications for Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group.

Semtech also announced:
  • the full production of its ClearEdge CDR platform IC bundle targeting high-performance data center and wireless applications. The quad ClearEdge CDR with integrated DML laser driver and quad ClearEdge CDR with integrated transimpedance amplifier (TIA) provides an optimized chipset for 100G PSM4 and CWDM4 module solutions. The quad ClearEdge CDR with integrated DML laser driver also supports module designs based on both chip-on-board optics and passive TOSAs. 
  • initial production of its bi-directional ClearEdge CDR with integrated DML laser driver.
  • mass production of a fully integrated quad 28G ClearEdge CDR with single-ended electro-absorption modulated lasers (EML) laser driver, consuming only 790 mW at maximum, 1.5 Vppse swing, in a 6mm x 5mm package with integrated bias-T passive components. This addresses the challenge of shrinking real estate in QSFP28 designs.

Lattice Semiconductor adds former Xilinx exec to its team

Lattice Semiconductor announced the appointment of Steve Douglass as Corporate Vice President, R&D.

Douglass previously served as the Corporate Vice President, Customer Technology Deployment at Xilinx.

Jim Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are excited to have Steve Douglass join Lattice. His proven ability to lead global FPGA development teams and drive customer-focused innovation in targeted applications make him the perfect fit. His technical skills, market knowledge and leadership capabilities will help further strengthen Lattice as we drive sustained growth and profitability by accelerating the worldwide adoption of our ground-breaking hardware and software solutions.”

Lattice Semiconductor appoints AMD exec as its new CEO

Lattice Semiconductor appointed Jim Anderson as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, and to the company’s Board of Directors. He most recently served as at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) as the General Manager and Senior Vice President of the Computing and Graphics Business Group.

Jeff Richardson, Chairman of the Board, said, “On behalf of the Board, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Anderson as Lattice’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Jim brings a strong combination of business and technical leadership with a deep understanding of our target end markets and customers. The transformation he drove of AMD’s Computing and Graphics business over the past few years is just a recent example of his long track record of creating significant shareholder value.

President Trump blocks sale of Lattice Semi citing National Security

President Trump signed an order blocking the sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners on national security grounds. The issue was referred to the President by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) due to concerns regarding China Venture Capital Fund Corporation Limited and its interest in Canyon Bridge Capital Partners.

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